At Stake: Building Tension in Fiction

Friday, March 6th, 10:00am-5:00pm
GrubStreet HQ (Remote)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Stories don’t need to begin with a car chase or a gun going off to draw readers in. Every chapter doesn't need to end with a cliffhanger to keep them engaged. Tension in fiction is created in a variety of ways. Through close reading and discussion, you’ll learn how to craft compelling characters, chose fresh plot lines, manipulate pacing, and highlight setting in ways that support the central conflict of your story. This class will walk you through how to move your characters closer to their goals while introducing complications that raise stakes, putting at risk what your characters want and need. In an attempt to raise reader questions while keeping them grounded in scene, you will learn to create the kind of intense curiosity that keeps readers reading!

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Lynne Griffin
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"
  • "Supportive Environment"


  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion
  • In-Class Writing
  • Craft Lessons


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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